politics of innovation

Transcript: The Politics Of Innovation

Good morning and welcome to the think future podcast My name’s Chris Kalaboukis and I had a bunch of other topics slated for today but today happens to be the day of Donald Trump.  So I figured I thought I’d talk a little bit about the politics of innovation.

So one of the things I wrote in a blog post a few months back prior to the election was rating the candidates on innovation and if you asked me.  You’re probably saying what are you talking about how can you rate someone on innovation?  Since I’ve been in the field very long time,  I know what kind of attributes assist in the development of innovative products and services and which deter them.

The theme I’ve talked about number of times over the years on my blog and this forthcoming book that I’m writing called So Where’s My Flying Car? and the main theme of all of this is that innovation requires freedom.  It requires the ability to think outside the box.  It requires the ability to put your filters to the side no matter what they’d be whether they be legal filters ethical filters any kind of filter any kind of restrictions on what you can think about and push that envelope.

To that end, I was suggesting that one of the things that will help assist in the development of new innovative products and services is a reduction in regulation.  When you have a reduction in regulation then you will see all sorts of new innovations being developed and launched because you don’t have those same restrictions in place.

Here’s an example.  Look at banking.  If you look at banking in this country banking in this country is extremely heavily regulated.  Therefore it’s very difficult for banks, no matter how innovative they are internally, to be able to launch innovative new products because they have to deal with a lot of regulation and compliance issues.  Go to other countries like Kenya where the banks have been able to do all sorts of interesting and amazing things with mobile banking because the regulations are more lax.

In places where regulations are lax, you see a lot more innovative and interesting products and services coming to market.  That’s one thing that government can assist in innovating by sort of stepping back and rolling back certain regulations and I talk about every regulation talk about certain regulations certain regulations can be rolled back to assist in the development of innovation.

It doesn’t matter which sector it is it could be the energy sector could be banking could be anywhere and if you could roll back these regulations.  Then you would see more innovation because the regulations inhibit the innovation whereas thinking about the innovation doesn’t.  It doesn’t inhibit you from thinking about the innovations if you want to develop patents in that space that’s fine but if you’re actually thinking about developing products and services then rolling back regulation really helps.  I think I talked about this in the last show when I talk about

It doesn’t inhibit you from thinking about the innovations if you want to develop patents in that space that’s fine but if you’re actually thinking about developing products and services then rolling back regulation really helps.  I think I talked about this in the last show when I talk about permissionless innovation where you push forward into areas where there are no laws or the laws can be bent or the laws can be stretched in order to get that innovative product service out the door.  But if.  The government turned around said you we’re going to welcome you by reducing the amount of regulation we’re deregulating those areas then week might see a lot more innovation in that space.  Secondly, if people are queasy.  And there’s one thing that is interesting about innovation is that a lot of times when you see something extremely interesting and innovative.  People get uncomfortable.  They get little queasy about it and they’re concerned about it that their ethical filters or even sensual filters. I was talking about the future of water use.  You saw in California we have a drought and it’s raining today so hopefully, a drought will reduce over time.  But we were talking about water use and I mean one of my previous blog posts I talk about a scientist who hasn’t taken a shower in twelve years.  All he does is spritz

But if the government turned around said you we’re going to welcome you by reducing the amount of regulation we’re deregulating those areas then week might see a lot more innovation in that space.

Another thing that is interesting about innovation is that a lot of times when you see something extremely interesting and innovative, people get uncomfortable.  They get little queasy about it and they’re concerned about it that their ethical filters or even sensual filters. I was talking about the future of water consumption.

In California, we have a drought and it’s raining today so hopefully, a drought will reduce over time.  We were talking about water use and I mean one of my previous blog posts I talk about a scientist who hasn’t taken a shower in twelve years.  All he does is spritz himself with this anti-bacterial substance and what it does it destroys the bacteria on his skin and some people say that he doesn’t smell all that great but he’s used very little water over the course of the last twelve years.  So if you think about it.  That is sort of the future of showering do we really need to use as much water as we do in order to be clean.  Can’t we have some kind of high tech shower which uses some water some biological elements that straw the bacteria and then just sort of blast us with this thing for a couple seconds cleaning us completely and then we step out again.  But so like the thought of peppering ourselves of bacteria.  You know it’s become clean makes a few people a little queasy.  I think about how I’ll never do that.  But if you think about it.  That is the future.  That’s where innovation will come from in that space.  So feeling.  Easy about something doesn’t necessarily mean that something is not innovative fact it might mean something is more innovative and cutting edge.  Now what does that have to do with the government.  Well let’s talk a little bit about ethics right.  Think about the start of flight when people were still trying to determine how to get off the ground.  How do we get humans to fly

So feeling uneasy about something doesn’t necessarily mean that something is not innovative, in fact, it might mean something is more innovative and cutting edge.  Now, what does that have to do with the government?  Well, let’s talk a little bit about ethics right.  Think about the start of flight when people were still trying to determine how to get off the ground.  How do we get humans to fly Wilbur and Orville  Wright actually were able to get off the ground.

There were numbers of people who were able to get off the ground.  Hundreds of people tried a lot of people died trying to get off the ground.  A lot of people died attempting to fly.  And if you think about this if you think about that time and today.  If you think about the risk taking that was done at that time as opposed to today.  I cannot imagine many people taking that kind of risk in order to determine whether or not we could fly.  I just can’t imagine I think we live in a completely different time where people are more concerned about safety.

The ethics of a situation than they are about actually pushing forward with the innovation and this is the some of the some of the reasons why the FDA takes so long to push drugs through the system is because they have to test every possible situation and it takes forever.  Even though there’s many people waiting in the wings who are these cures.  So one of the things that I would say and it’s an analog to it maps to talk about earlier is it.  If we can roll back the some of the ethics and some of the some of the regulation around these types of things and say let’s get these things pushed forward.

Can you imagine people who were trying to get human beings off the ground, and they were willing to die trying?  Is anyone, any longer willing to die trying for innovation?  Are people willing to die trying to cure cancer?  Are people willing to die trying to cure HIV? Are people willing to die trying to cure homelessness?

No, people are not willing to take the risk anymore and I think and administration that encourages people to take risks would be extremely helpful so part of the deregulation encouraging people to take risks strengthening the patent system so people who do come up with ideas are protected and are able to do something with those ideas.

The last thing that I would suggest is something that I’ve called Innovation Zones.  Now if you’re too queasy to say OK we can make these rules work all over the country,  I would say set up some areas within the country set up some specific areas within the country where physical spaces and they could be out in the middle of a desert that could be anywhere like Area 51 that sort of thing where people can go and do these risky things as you go into these areas

Basically what’s happening in these areas is that there’s a lifting of restrictions and laws in order to get beyond developing things so say for example we had an innovation rezone somewhere in Arizona right the way it works if somebody wanted to do something really innovative somebody really wanted to risk their lives or their lives of others in developing some new innovation.  They would go travel to this innovation zone and upon entering this innovation zone they would sign a waiver saying anything that happens in this zone is my complete responsibility if I were to be disabled, if I were to be killed if I were to be hurt in any way,  I take full responsibility for this and no one else does.

I am free within this innovation zone to do all sorts of things which may be illegal outside of the innovation zone.  own but pushes forwards breakthroughs in many areas that you’re never able to do in these things.  So what’s happening is that a lot of innovators are leaving the United States to go to other countries where the laws are more lax.  So instead of having those people leave the country to go to these other countries where the laws are more lax create these areas within the United States where the laws are more lax and then see what kind of innovation comes out of it.  And I’m not trying to kill anybody intimate trying to hurt anybody.  But I’m saying is that we need to recapture that same spirit that we had back at the turn of the last century where people were willing to take the risk in order to create brand new

I’m not trying to kill anybody or intimate that anyone should get hurt, trying to hurt anybody.  But I’m saying is that we need to recapture that same spirit that we had back at the turn of the last century where people were willing to take the risk in order to create brand new forward-thinking innovations.  We need to bring that sense of adventure and excitement and disruption back to our country and hopefully, that’s something that we can see from this incoming administration.

I’m not sure we will see and this is what I’ve said to many people a lot of people talk to me and I’ve talked to people from all over the world about what’s happening in a lot of people are freaked out.  They’re worried about what’s going to happen and I’ve said to many of them that I have faith that the founders have set up a system with enough checks and balances that if no matter who becomes president that there’s not too much of an extension of executive powers.

I have faith that the founders did a really good job of constricting that role.

Let’s wait and see what actually happens and then ensure that this president just like we have ensured every other president that they follow through with the things that are good for America.